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Old 11-16-2006, 09:28 PM   #1
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A question on underbelly skin and its gas lines.

Taking a reccommendation from Lipets, I have begun dropping the belly skin on my Safari. It isn't in the greatest shape, and I may have to reconsider replacement over patching. My main problem are my gas lines. I have tried unsuccessfully to separate them with two wrenchs. To save time and effort, should I cut the copper at the appliance drop sites, and then put new tubing in once the belly is back on?

Comments or concerns anyone?
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:38 PM   #2
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That's what I did, I think I'm putting in a main trunk line up the middle out of black pipe and branch off with copper
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:48 PM   #3
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So just keep the vertical drops from the furnace, fridege, etc, and tear the rest out?

Also...I was inspecting the frame to get an idea of the total repair needed, and it looked like there was wood inside the lengthwise stringers. Perhaps my eyes were playing tricks as it WAS dark outside, but I was sure it was wood. If it is wood...should that be replaced, and how would you do that if so?

Lipets...you are there for almost every posting...thanks alot.
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Old 11-17-2006, 06:54 AM   #4
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Yes just keep the drops.

I have an Internet biz, so I'm always online.
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Old 11-17-2006, 01:19 PM   #5
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Exclamation Lots more damage.

My belly aluminum is being a real pain to take down. Mostly because I really cant fit and manuver well under the trailer. I would like to jack it up on one side, but I am unsure where to place the jack for the trailer. I dont want to damage anything. Also, at the tail end where the hatch it, the belly skin forms into a triangle area with no rivets underneath to remove. Must I remove the rivets on the side of the trailer to get this out.

I have a welder coming out tomorrow to begin working on replacing some steel. He wants to use 1 inch angle iron. Is this what everyone else has used? 1 inch sounds so small.

From these pics you can see that the belly aluminum is in rough shape. I think I would like to start over with new skins, but how difficult would it be? Do I have to make then as long as the trailer, or can I break them up into more manageable sizes for me to do at one time as I lie on my back in a gravel driveway?

Also...I have been breaking alot of bits. I think I was using a 1/8 bit on the lower skin rivets and I think it is WAY TOO SMALL. SHould I be using a 5/32?
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Old 11-17-2006, 01:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soldiermedic
My belly aluminum is being a real pain to take down. Mostly because I really cant fit and manuver well under the trailer. I would like to jack it up on one side, but I am unsure where to place the jack for the trailer....
Why don't you back the trailer up on ramps and keep the tow vehicle attached for stability? This would give you plenty of room to get under and make the trailer stable.

Bill
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Old 11-17-2006, 01:46 PM   #7
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Don't Laugh!

I don't have ramps or a tow vehicle. My friend went and picked up the A/S for me. The way I figured, I knew it was not going to be road worthy for quite some time, and needed alot of work. I won't buy a tow vehicle until I am finished with this project. I know it rules out options, but c'est la vie.
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Old 11-17-2006, 05:07 PM   #8
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The ramps are the best way to go if you can borrow a TV for ten minutes.



Jack it up between the wheels on the fat part of the frame not the axle.

Get jack stands under near the same area, you then have the tongue support and add another in the rear frame but as safty supports not bearing the load so much.

NOw do the same on the other side, you want to get it up about 6-10".

You also are leaving the tires on as safty's.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:33 PM   #9
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Doc, I don’t know much about the 68’s, except for a couple I’ve looked at, but here a few ideas.

What is the one inch angle going to be used on? Got any pictures of the area that needs to be welded? The dimensions of the steel, of course, depend on the area to be repaired.

Belly aluminum. Mine looked like yours in several places. What I did was to repair the areas that were in the worst shape. Cut out the bad and pieced in new from some new metal I bought at Lowes.

Making an entire new pan is a lot of work, and can get expensive. Making a one piece pan would probably be difficult to attach back on the trailer. On my ’73, there are basically three large pieces to the pan, the back being the largest. That piece runs from just forward of the axels all the way to the back of the trailer. I just finished repairing/replacing mine and I know exactly what you mean about this being a small, tight workspace under there.

Many (read-most) of the rivets on the belly of the ‘73 are 3/16ths. I used a center punch to “dimple” the rivet and slowly drill them out. I went thru a bunch of the 1/8th bits on the smaller rivets before I figured out to go slow and make sure I was in the center of the rivet.

Hope this helps a bit. Let us know how it’s going.

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Old 11-17-2006, 09:57 PM   #10
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Hey Jim,

I can easity patch the holes that are there, but I am more concerned with the aluminum edges of the belly pan itself. There are countless holes from prior riveting. When I put it all back together am I supposed to vulkem all the seams that overlap? Is this done before or after the seams are riveted. It matters not right now since the framing needs to be welded. Here are a few examples of areas to be welded. This is not everything by far.
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Old 11-18-2006, 08:34 AM   #11
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OK, it looks like the areas that will be replaced are on the top or bottom of the main frame rail (the two rails that run from front to back on the frame)? The steel that he's bringing should do the job fine.

On the belly pan, I had a couple of edges that were kinda like you describe. I cut those edges off and spliced in a new piece just for that part of the metal. As far as sealing those edges, that is a source of debate here on the forums. Some areas, it’s obvious that they need to sealed. For example, the fresh water tank on my ’73 protrudes below the main part of the belly pan. This area is made in such a way that you must seal around the frame that holds the tank in. As far as the rest of the pan, I plan to seal the areas that look like water might come in cause damage. Other areas, I will leave unsealed to allow the pan to breathe a little. Search here on the forum and you can other opinions on this.

Good luck with it. Keep us up to date.

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Old 11-23-2006, 03:43 PM   #12
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Use a stiff putty knife to cut rivets...

Some of us in the forum have used a stiff paint scraper knife - the type that looks a bit like a wide chisel with a sharp tapered end- to chop off stuborn rivets. There is some danger of enlarging the hole in the aluminum sheet when you do this but it is way less of a problem underneath for two reasons:

1.) No big deal if you intend to replace the belly pan anyway like I am going to have to do.

2.) The rivets typically attach to the steel frame which holds on to them a lot better when you chop them off than the aluminum frame of the body does.

I have used the technique with very good results on other places too.

The type of scraper I have been using is like the one of the right of the attached photo. Mine is blue though and I bought it at either Home Depot or Lowes. You can see that the handle is designed to be hammered on. The narrow point is helpful for knocking out the remains of a rivet if it does not just fall out.

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Old 11-23-2006, 04:34 PM   #13
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i sealed everything within a few inches of the floor. everything below that is unsealed. that appears to be the way it was from the factory on mine as well. breating is important. the belly pan will get water in it. that's just the facts. if it's sealed, it will hold the water, and lord knows what kind of damage that will do!

jp
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